I pushed, he pulled, he tugged with great might, a

Friday, July 11, 2003 7:37 PM
Why is it that people who are experts in amusement ride safety put short seat belts on ride attractions that do not fasten comfortably when large people get on the ride? Here is what happened to me when I decided to get my Darien Lake season pass processed July 3 of this year and spend about two hours in the park since it was after 7:00 PM already. Keep in mind that this incident did not bother me in the least and I actually thought it was amusing.

The first roller coaster I attempted was the Mind Eraser. The name fits this roller coaster quite well because your head feels like a basketball in an NBA game during its run. Do to the rides roughness your head bangs from left to right hitting the pull over restraint bar. At least I fit perfectly in the seat and there were no problems with the seat restraints.

The next roller coaster however posed a bit of a problem for me. As I walk toward the Superman Ride of Steel I asked the ride attendant if he thought there would be any problems with me sitting ok in the train. He paused and looked at me and said, “No, they will be able to fit you in.” At that point I had some wild thoughts that just came over me. What did he mean by that? Do they have a special shoehorn or something to wedge people in the train? Do they use oil or something?? The way the ride attendant said it and his expression, you could not help but laugh. I tempted fate and began the walk up to the load/unload platform. It was finally my turn to take the seat. Before I continue I have to say that I am not a small person. I larger than the average person out there but I am not a huge person either. I have a healthy girth size and a healthy thigh size and seat belts on air planes and the Superman Ride of Steel do give me a bit of a problem. I went to fasten the seat belt and it was about four inches to short. I pulled it as hard as I could and it would not reach. I called over a ride attendant and said that the seat belt was to short. At that point I would have gladly gotten off the train. The ride attendant proceeded to try and fasten the seatbelt. I pushed, he pulled, he tugged, and it finally fastened. But wait it gets better. At the end of the ride, I could not get the seat belt unfastened. Everyone that was in the car left and here I am still strapped in. I called the same ride attendant over who help me fasten the seat belt. He said ah oh. In the mean time train number two finished its run and was patiently waiting to come into the load/unload platform from the brake track.
The ride attendant finally got it unfastened and boy did it feel good….. Needless to say I did nto experience any airtime. In fact, I probably could have went through loops and everything with no shoulder bar or lap bar that is how ight the seat belt was.
Yep, I caused the Superman Ride of steel to get out of sync.

I am pro amusement park safety and if I had the least concern that the lap bar would not latch properly, open up, or if I did not fit in the seat correctly I would have left the ride.
The superman Ride of Steel roller coaster is an adult ride and seat belts should fit adult people who are larger than average. I do plan on writing Darien lake on this not as a complaint but as an awareness. My feeling is quite simple on this. If I have to compete with short seat belts on attractions then I will not go to the park and please refund me my season pass money.

Anyone else have had bad experience with a ride seat belt?

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Friday, July 11, 2003 7:52 PM
Superman: Ultimate Escape. I'm a pretty big guy, but never had an issue fitting on any coaster before this one. The restraint didn't even feel that tight when the belt was in - it felt normal like any restraint on any coaster and was completely comfortable, but the ride op and i both had to struggle every time i wanted to re-ride it (and re-ride it i did that day :) ). Fortunately, we got into a rhythm and he was friendly about it, so it wasn't a big deal.

Wicked Twister, in contrast, had a test seat and signs all over the place saying that larger guests might not be able to ride, and the seatbelt fit on me without any struggle at all (I assume that CP requested a longer seatbelt after complaints by SF:WOA.).

~me

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S:ROS; SFNE. Ride it, and you'll understand.

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Friday, July 11, 2003 8:01 PM
Whatever you do do not go on MF then because they are about an inch or so shorter. Just got back from a trip where I hit MF and SFDL's Superman and I had to have help (or I did it myself with a struggle) on MF but did it myself no problem on SFDL.

Intamin seatbelts suck, even people with loads of slack have problems unbuckleing them and why cant the length of fabric on the male belt side be enough to actually get above that annoying metal bar, if they did that I would have no problem on any of them. It is just really awkward to buckle so far down.

I agree totaly when it comes to the seatbelts on lapbar rides, I believe that Intamins are "infinite" clickers meaning that they will lock in any position so I gotta believe they can put more fabric in the belts. However there does come an angle when the lap bar allows a person to slide to a standing position so there is an upper limit but still it has to be more then what they have it at.

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Summer 03-CP, HP, SFDL, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Friday, July 11, 2003 8:38 PM
True.. Intamin belts are a little short, but they vary on all intamin rides I think... SROS has the shortest belt IMO, then MF then Dragster.. What's weird is I hear the exact oppsite, so I dunno...

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Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online

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Friday, July 11, 2003 8:48 PM
And here I was thinking I was going to read more about M:TR. <yoink> (the sound of a hijack)

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Friday, July 11, 2003 8:59 PM
Last year I had a little problem with Millennium Force. I think I had a size 46 waist and I had to squeeze just to get into the ride. The only thing I could do to get rid of that problem was to lose weight and I did. Now I am fine.

MF's first year, the seat belt was fully extended. Then sometime after that, it was shortened and I don't know why, but I am not upset. There is a limitation to what is safe and what isn't.

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"Do what you believe in and believe in what you do," Jeffrey E. McCants

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 12:06 AM
Intamin seatbelts vary in length depending on where in the train you sit. Belts in the front two seats of a car are longer than belts in the back two seats of a car due to the "stadium-style" seating of these rides (at least, I believe that's how it is). You didn't mention where in the car you were sitting, but perhaps that may help you in the future.

The thing to know before writing to SFDL is that Superman: Ride of Steel did originally open without seatbelts. It ran that way, in fact, until it threw a larger man to the ground (http://members.aol.com/rides911/1999.htm#may16). After this incident, the ride was retrofitted with seatbelts, and every Intamin hypercoaster thereafter had belts. Let's face it, Intamin rides have had trouble with larger guests (see the aforementioned SFDL incident, as well as the Perilous Plunge incident) and I don't blame Intamin and/or Six Flags for being a bit cautious when it comes to the weight of guest who are riding the ride. All that said, there should be a test seat in front of the ride, employees should be honest and helpful, and nobody should have to force anyone into fitting into a restraint system, as that can defeat the purpose. There may be safety concerns here for that reason, but I don't think it's anyone's place to question the size of the belts or the ride's restrictions except for the park and the manufacturer.

-Nate
*** This post was edited by coasterdude318 7/12/2003 4:08:02 AM ***

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 12:15 AM
I know of some people who bought seat belt extenders for PTC seatbelts. They have are a piece of seatbelt about six inches long and plug into the regular seatbelts to give you an extra few inches.

Maybe you could buy one of them off of Intamin?

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Signature will be closed today. Sorry for the inconveinance.

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 4:26 AM
I had absolutely NO IDEA what this post was about based on the title - I was kind of imagining a Jerry Springer-esque altercation between you and someone else in line.

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"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 7:07 AM
I, like ApolloAndy, had visions of another M:TR thread when I read the title - all in due time. :) LOL!

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SW:):)SH president of LEMCCDWBLI
MidwestInfoGuide.COM

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 7:09 AM
That is because the full subject line was cut short. It should be: "I pushed, he pulled, he tugged with great might, and it fastened. The seat belt that is!"
No altercations with a person just may be a seat belt but that is all.

Hmm.... Buy an extension seat belt and bring it to roller coasters... That would give the ride attendants something to talk about during lunch break 8-). Hey Joe, you are not going to believe this one.....
On the same line they should provide just that, a seat belt extension. That suggestion will be going into my letter to Darien Lake.

Thanks
*** This post was edited by parkenthusiast 7/12/2003 11:13:56 AM ***
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Saturday, July 12, 2003 8:02 AM
(rant)

What you have to remember about seatbelts and thier lenght is they are generally decided upon by the ride manufacture, and in most states (like Ohio) it is illegal for a park to physically modify a ride without the approval of the ride manufacture.

This would include providing, or making available, seatbelt extensions. THe rides are designed to safely restrain people of various sizes but at a certain point, tryign to accomodate larger people may result in a seat being made too large to safely restrain smaller to average people.

If there are any parks out ther ethat have extenders still, I wouldn't be surprised to see them dissapear in the next few years. As for rides like MF and Dragster, where a larger guest can not fit in, the ride has been designed to allow the average person ride while not endangering smaller riders, I wouldn't count on seeing a modification to most rides.

Yes I know B&M offers the larger seats for thier rides but as you'll notice, alot of parks don't get the option. Why? again it can BECOME a safety issue. What if someone who is smaller uses that seat because it's empty adn it fails to restrain them properly? If you don't allow the smaller people to use them, then you're cutting into capacity and sending empty seats, a thing that EVERY park frowns upon. Remember.. getting people to ride is why they build the rides. You ride.. you spend $$. Empty seats don't generate happy guests or increase the profit margin.

(/rant)


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June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
Technical Services - 2002-2003
Frightzone Screamster - 2002-2003

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 8:11 AM
I believe that the modification of BM seats is nothing more then adding two seatbelts that are slightly longer then the standard one, I know most manufactuers like to have you down "2 clicks" so that if for some reason the locking mechanism "hickuped" and released you up an extra notch the restraint wouldnt fly open. Standard belts on BM allow people who can get the ride down "4 clicks" or more, and the "big seat" allows "3 clicks."

What do you mean that most parks arent opting for big seats? What ride (minus the B:TR they never have them) BM has opened lately doesnt have one. I know B:TK has them and thats fairly new.

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Summer 03-CP, HP, SFDL, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 10:55 AM
I a big guy, but not that big (6'3" 255 lbs.). I have had no trouble getting into S:ROS (SFNE) but I did have problems on my three rides on Millenium Force two years ago.

nelson324: Believe me, I understand.

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 11:43 AM
Red Garter Rob is right. If you don't fit in the seatbelt, it's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is. It can be extremely dangerous to change the size of the seatbelt to allow a larger guest to ride (see Perilous Plunge). On some rides, the seatbelts are designed at a specific size that correlates with the maximum size and/or weight a rider can be and still have the lapbar closed at a safe level. To put it more plainly (and more bluntly), a lapbar may still close and lock, even though the rider may be too big to safely ride the ride! It's the *seatbelts* that determine that the rider is too large to safely ride, and that may very well be the case of the SFDL ride (as even though the lapbar was closed, it *still* threw out a larger guest before it had seatbelts!).

If you're going to write to the park to complain, then complain about how there was no way for you to tell if you could fit or not until you got to the station and you were embarassed by the employees. But don't complain that you can't ride because SFDL won't sacrifice safety for customer satisfaction. No park should ever be willing to do that.

-Nate

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 11:54 AM
Sounds like you're huge. It's for the parks best interest. Rides are designed for normal sized people.
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Saturday, July 12, 2003 12:01 PM
Well parkenthusiast, I really hope you thanked the ride op for what they did. They could have just as easily told you that you were too big to ride and asked you to leave.

I'm a ride op for another coaster that uses Intamin Hyper trains, and let me tell you that those seatbelts are not fun. They give you some pretty bad ropeburn when you pull on them, like this ride op did. We've had several ride ops hurt their backs and shoulders from pulling hard on those belts.

Its a shame that all of this caused you to be embarassed, but it sounds to me like this ride op put 110% effort in order to get you to ride.

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 4:52 PM

eMCeR2cf said:
Sounds like you're huge. It's for the parks best interest. Rides are designed for normal sized people.

Jeezus, why don't you just beat the guy over the head with a two-by-four.

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"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 5:44 PM
Yeah, give the guy a break.

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Top 3
1-S:RoS @ SFNE
2-Boulder Dash
3-Yankee Cannonball

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Saturday, July 12, 2003 6:58 PM
Give him a break, Give him a break -- break him off a piece of your kit kat bar....

Oh boy - bed time for me

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SW:):)SH Shaddy(president of LEMCCDWBLI)
MidwestInfoGuide.COM

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